Sunday, May 26, 2013

Video (screencast) response to email-

Sometimes a simple e=mail will not do.

I came across a unique way to respond to anyone on the Internet. If you do not want to write a response to an email you can shoot a screen cast of your self. I am not lightning fast at typing. My students and own children would not even raise my pecking to even that level. That said, a screen-cast on Jing could explain many visual ideas that text simply might not cover.  For example: This responds to a student who had a problem with finding information on my web site.

Link for Jing (it is not at

Jing is a free down load. So create a screencast by getting the document/visual you need to work with, then
A. With the cross lines show what you want to screencast.
B. On the menu on the bottom left, choose the video icon.
C. In 3 seconds you start speaking.
D. Stop recording.
E. Hit share
F. The video will come up for you to play, copy the link to you email.

Any image that can be pulled up on your computer can be transmitted to a student, parent, or administrator.

Again, if you have any questions, or need to correct anything I have done, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nine Characteristics of 21st Century Learning...To Get You thinking About It

9 Characteristics of 21st Century Learning

9 Characteristics Of 21st Century Learning

1. Learner-centered  (AKA Student Centered) 
2. Media-driven (this doesn’t have to mean digital media)
3. Personalized
4. Transfer-by-Design
5. Visibly Relevant
6. Data-Rich
7. Adaptable
8. Interdependent
9. Diverse 

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)...It is Already Here...Educators Need to Learn to Leverage It

BYOD: Links to Resources

Click on the Above Link.

NEASC...School Excellence ...Rubrics....Student Centered Learning....21st Century Learning many much little time...

Every student has a smart phone which means they have a computer in their hand, we (teachers) need to figure out how to use it THE RIGHT WAY with your permission and with your classroom IT business rules....this will take us out of our comfort zone, but we need to figure this out. The above link should help somewhat.... 

To remain relevant and ahead of the power curve you have to jump into the "deep end of Education Information Technology pool". In order for our students to learn 21st Century Learning Expectations they will need to be able to use the ever evolving  Educational Information Technologies (EdIT) that supports this. These students will need Teachers who know how and understand how to use many of these EdIT resources...that is why Peter started McMahon Tech blog to help get you started...

Come on in,  the water is fine...Click on some posts and some links I dare you.... 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Key Questions You Should Ask Before You Flip Your Class-

This is from the blog  Flipped Learning

I am preparing to do a workshop with Icelandic Educators this week and I was asked to give them a list of questions to consider as they begin to flip their classes.  As I wrote these I realized that many people could benefit from these questions.  It is no doubt an incomplete list.  If you have more questions that I should include, please comment and I will add them.  

Overall Questions
  • What is the best use of your  face-to-face class time?
  • What is one lesson that you teach that is perfect for flipping?
  • As you start flipping, who will you work with?
  • Are you willing to give up some of the control of your classroom to your students? This is a scary thing for many teachers who like control.
  • If you flip, WHAT will you do in your class now that you are not lecturing?
  • Do you need additional resources since you will now have more time to do in-class higher order thinking and problem solving as a result of the extra time?
  • How will you rearrange your room as you consider flipping your classroom?
  • To what extent will you create vs curate your videos?
  • Will you completely flip your class, or just do selected lessons?
  • How will you learn more about flipped learning (books, the web)?
  • How much time do you have to commit to flipping your classroom?
  • How will your students access your videos?  Do you have any students who will need to access the videos when NOT connected to the internet?
  • If you teach multiple classes:  Which class will you flip first?
  • Have you considered moving to a Flipped-Mastery model?

Technical Questions about Video Creation:
  • What software will you use to make your videos?
  • Do you need any hardware like a better microphone or a tablet to write with?
  • Where will you post your videos? (YouTube? Somewhere else?)
  • How will you link your videos from your Learning Management System?

Classroom Questions
  • How will you monitor if the students watched the video?
  • How will you grade their watching of the videos?
  • How will you build in interactivity into your video lessons?  (A Google form?  Notes on paper? a A question? Something else?)
  • What are you going to do when a student doesn't watch your video?
  • How will you change your assessment as a result of flipping your class?
  • How will you communicate what you are doing with your administration?
  • How will you communicate what you are doing with your students?
  • How will you communicate what you are doing with your parents?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tech question for next school year.

No matter what stage you are in the integration of technology into your classes an important date is coming up. That date is the end of the school year. A lot of teachers can have PLN's or follow people on Twitter or blogs. But the people around you can sometimes be way more helpful. This all leads to the question. What tech are you going to use with your students next year? Who can help you?

For example:

Should I just redo my web site? Do I need to get the heck off of Sharepoint?

Do I keep a web site but use Edmodo to create communication teacher to student and student to student?

Do I use to have students send me there homework? Use the blog feature on it to have an ongoing conversation to what is happening in class?

Do I want students to use presentation software like the new Prezi?

I can throw out quite a few more of these but you get the idea. When you start your classes next year the more seamless the better. If they are used to cloud softwares from the first day of class your "system" will be more readily accepted. You still have to be flexible but dropping a whole different way treating your curriculum on top of students in November might end up inefficient.

So take the time to find out what steps you want to take for next year and then find out what tools might make your life easier, creates better communication or just is more fun for the same objectives. Talk to people in the building about your decisions before you leave for the summer. Most web sites/tools I have used come with a varying learning curve. Most tools are easy but you still have to teach them. Understand how a student will use the tool. I personally set up a fake student account so I see what they see. It allows me to throw out presumptions I'm making.

Make the big desicions with help before June 24th and spend the summer working on the small details.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The other side of Tech

I just wanted to start an open question with myself about the down side of tech for my classes. This is spurred on by last nights homework for Civics. I posted the homework on my web site. This included a link to a pamphlet I scanned onto  ( about Brien McMahon. On a Google Document I also posted 4 questions to answer on McMahon. The answers were to be posted on the student's site.

Now that is three web sites for one assignment. It sure didn't feel like my students would have all sorts of problems, but they did. Most problems were that the slide rocket presentation would not load or took waaaay too much time to load. One person could not get the Google page up and a few could not get into their Mybigcampus page.This was all in my first period. A number of students just wrote out the answers and turned that in.

What do I need to do to make this a better experience for the student? Myself? Let me see what third period does and up date this entry.

Update: My other classes did much better in accessing all the web sites. At the moment there does not seem any specific criteria or pattern as to why. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

ePortfolios using Google apps -larger than you think

I have read some of this site and am encouraged to read more about how not only to create ePortfolios , but how to use them through one network of sites. I would like to meet with others who have done portfolios, just out of curiosity. But for the moment here is the link-

The teacher that is throwing resources on the net and writing about this is Dr. Helen Barrett
Here is her site.